LANGKAWI, July 14 — More airlines are expected to start direct flights to Langkawi this year following the successful negotiations carried out by Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), its Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Azizan Noordin said today.
He said some of these airlines, such as Middle-East-based Qatar Airlines and Emirates, as well as Air Condor from Germany, were already operating flights to Kuala Lumpur and they were responding positively to calls to fly to the islands here.
“Insya Allah (God willing), they will start this year and more airlines from China like Hainan Airlines would also have direct flights (to Langkawi),” he told reporters after making a presentation at the Malaysia Inbound Tourism Association (Mita) Business Networking Session here.
According to him, the expansion project of the Langkawi International Airport, which is expected to be completed this September would also lure these airlines to use larger aircraft to bring in more tourists to the island.
“Beside tourists from their respective countries of origin, these airlines would also be linking tourists from Europe and other parts of the world to Langkawi,” he said.
Azizan said LADA was also looking at tapping the potential of cruise ships in bringing more high-end tourists to Langkawi.
“With a deep sea port facility and a number of big cruise ships coming over, Langkawi has a great potential to become a home port for these cruise ships,” he said.
Earlier in his presentation, he said the number of tourists using cruise ships to come to Langkawi had grown to 157,304 last year as compared to 57,801 tourists recorded in 2016.
“The first quarter of this year had already shown a promising figure where 72,531 tourists had been recorded,” he added.
He said the total number of tourists to the island had been registered at 3.67 million last year and LADA had set a target of four million to arrive this year. — Bernama